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Game #100: Diamondbacks vs. Tigers

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We go from playing a team propping up the division, to a team leading theirs, with the arrival of the Tigers in town. But can Justin Verlander handle a bat?

Jason O. Watson

det_medium

Justin Verlander
RHP, 8-8, 4.88
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Vidal Nuno
RHP, 2-6, 5.10

Diamondbacks Lineup

  1. David Peralta - CF
  2. Aaron Hill - 2B
  3. Paul Goldschmidt - 1B
  4. Miguel Montero - C
  5. Mark Trumbo - RF
  6. Gerardo Parra - RF
  7. Martin Prado - 3B
  8. Didi Gregorius - SS
  9. Vidal Nuño - P

A couple of years ago, this would have been a mismatch of almost epic proportions. But this is not your father's Verlander, who won the Cy Young and MVP in 2011  - it's not even your slightly older brother's Verlander, who went 17-8 with a 2.64 ERA the following season. As my fantasy team is thoroughly aware, this Verlander has been extremely mediocre, going 8-8 and probably lucky to be there, with a 4.84 ERA and leading the American League in earned runs allowed. This has to be of concern to Detroit, in particular considering that they are on the hook for $28 million to him next year. And the one after that. And the one after that. And all the way through 2019, in fact.

Meanwhile, we'll see what the newest Diamondback can do in his third outing. The first was excellent, but the second was spoiled by one swing of St. Buster's bat. Still, a lot of the peripheral numbers have been very close to what Brandon McCarthy has done for the Yankees to date. We'll also see if Mark Trumbo's luck is any better today: he seems to have been hitting it on the screws, only for the ball to find fielders' gloves, which is why he is still looking for his first extra-base hit since coming back off the DL on July 11. Having gone 3-for-18, his average is hanging dangerously near the Uecker Line too.

There have been 87 winning streaks this year of four or more games in the majors: the Diamondbacks have none of them. Indeed, it has been more than a year since they've done so, going back to their five victories in a row from July 3-7 last year. This is their eighth attempt to get past three consecutive wins since, having lost on each one of the previous seven occasions, so will tonight be any different?